, Muskogee, OK


February 28, 2013

Like rain: White to move and mate in five

— “The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by oft falling,” observed Lucretius, the great Roman poet and philosopher.   Black has a hole in its position, and white’s pieces are still falling like rain.   With this hint in mind please try to find white’s entire mating line.  

Black’s queen threatens white’s rook with check.   This is followed by black’s bishop snatching white’s bishop.   Black’s advanced d3 pawn also threatens promotion.   

White ignores this and quietly advances its f5 pawn to f6.  

This pawn advance locks down black’s f7 pawn and maintains the hole in black’s position.    This hole is at g7.   White’s f6 pawn supports the now unstoppable queen to g7, mate.

Black dodges the hand of the grim reaper by taking  white’s rook with check, forcing the white king to h2.   

Black’s continues its futile dodge by checking white from h1.   White’s king takes the black queen.   Black’s bishop then checks white by capturing white’s g2 pawn.   After the white king takes the bishop, nothing that black can do prevents white from next occupying g7 with its queen, mating black.   

The lesson this week is that a pawn can sneak up on you like rain. The grim reaper has many forms.

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